Throughout my career, I have often pondered on the importance of design. Having the need to design at work, doesn't seem to detract from the question of asking why we need it in the first place.
Binary thinking doesn't help. You say, ok, without design, the world becomes very boring. Therefore, we need design. Problem solved right? The problem with answering questions by pure deduction is that the question itself requires a binary answer. For open-ended questions, binary answers are utterly useless.
The secret to design I think lies in our wanting to be surrounded by design. Anytime we visualize anything good in our minds, it's never boring and monotonous. The stuff of dreams is never only misty white or pure black because such dreams lack references to content. We would neither have nightmares nor wonderful dreams if that was all we dreamt.
The importance of creating a place is what comes to mind. A place to sit and read. As is determined in architecture, there are guiding principles which can make a space into a place - proportions to look out for like the wall to ground proportions, the ratio of the windows and their spacing which create a sense of intimate volume, and key buzzwords like activation of the ground level interface.
Place is to plain space, like art is to everyday objects. This ability for transformation is the magic that makes something ordinary into something loved. Shouldn't everything strive to be loved? In our coming of age, our evolution from scarcity to abundance, the need for design is probably now the one thing that we can't escape and have less of an excuse to avoid.